Principal: Tony Signore, CEO and managing partner
Offices: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Charlotte, and Austin
Taylor, whose history is in the consumer marcomms space with specialties in sports and entertainment, continued to diversify its expertise in 2014, with the goal of competing for digital and social media accounts.
CEO Tony Signore has his sights set higher this year, saying he wants his firm to win digital work from blue-chip consumer clients.
"We set the table nicely for the success we need to see in 2015. We were in a position to pitch for digital AOR business. We didn’t come out on the right side of it, but we learned a lot," he explains.
He noted that goal requires the firm to continue to hire staffers to polish its campaigns beyond the surface and focus on the backend as well in 2015.
"That’s the price of entry now," he says. "No one is hired unless they have digital fluency at every level."
Signore also predicted that 2016 "could be the year we are no longer independent."
"The right partnership could provide us with the geographic footprint and a global stage and allow us to recruit some of the talent you see at the high levels of global consulting firms," he adds.
The firm opened an office in Austin in September, focused on digital work. In terms of practice areas, lifestyle demonstrated steady growth in 2014, driven by food and beverage, financial services, and CPG.
Taylor no longer has any full-time staff in London after cutting back due to client needs in 2013, but it maintains the ability to revive its presence there.
Revenue was up 3% to $21.75 million, down from the growth of 6.6% achieved in the previous year.
The firm won marquee accounts from Mercedes-Benz, which hired the shop as its first sports PR AOR in the US, and Comcast, supporting the brand’s multi-year sponsorship of NASCAR.
Tempur Sealy, formed by the combination of Tempur-Pedic and Sealy, named Taylor its first AOR as one company last summer. It lost Taco Bell, which appointed DJE Holdings agencies to handle a range of work after a review.
For the fourth straight year, Taylor derived more than 50% of its total revenue from strategy and program development, and it pulled 38% from digital and social in 2014. The firm’s creative studio accounted for 15% of 2014 revenue.
While it did not add or lose any senior-level executives in 2014, Taylor did concentrate last year on hiring staffers for its brand counsel group. The firm plans to bring on a senior planner to lead the group this year.
It also developed a suite of measurement and evaluation products under the CustomTaylor brand last year, consisting of the 360Taylor measurement dashboard and the SocialTaylor social KPI and influencer modeling dashboard.